Since the start of 2020, Help a Child works together with partners in Somalia to assist internally displaced people in Banadir State. In order to reach scale and work low-cost, the health care component of this Joint Response project is strongly focused on community involvement. This is done by establishing and facilitating Care Groups.
A Care Group consist of 10-15 women who are selected by their immediate household neighbors. Each week, the Care Group members meet with the health promoter to receive information on hygiene, nutrition or health. After each Care Group meeting, each volunteer is responsible for sharing this information with 10-15 households in her respective neighborhood. Care groups turn out to be a highly effective and cost-efficient model for behavior change activities. The Care Group model brings services to the household level against minimal cost. Since the volunteers are selected and trusted by their community members, They do have the acceptance to address sensitive topics, such as family planning and other reproductive health topics. They even are able to reach influential mothers-in-law, who often can impact the decisions of fathers, for instance about the use of family finances for health. The Care Group also collects information on the hygiene, sanitation, health and nutrition practices of mothers and caretakers of children in the area, and builds better understanding of barriers to appropriate behavior change. The model also ensures that every household with a young child or pregnant woman within a target community is reached. They are therefore a very effective impact-multiplier for our health and hygiene interventions.
Read more about the Joint Response of the Dutch Relief Alliance in Somalia here.